Maykel Herrera, the Cuban painter who best portrays children

Childhood as positive inspiration

The elements that reflect childhood have been inspirational themes for many of the art lovers, such as Maykel Herrera, the Cuban painter.

Cuba is not exempt from these artistic tastes and counts without a doubt with one of the greatest exponents.

Maykel Herrera is a unique creator within the vast universe of the plastic arts, was born in Camagüey and graduated from the Professional School of Plastic Arts.

His success over the years is due to his unique and dreamy technique that reflects his thoughts.

Although there are many reasons for his paintings, there is no doubt that the children have occupied a significant palace as muses that have inspired and guided his creations.

On several occasions he has admitted that childhood reveals him and that he is undoubtedly a driving force behind creation that achieves a more direct intention and a more precise interpretation.

For this author his work is based on only painting infants but from the observation and appreciation of the tenderness of children. He wants to transmit their tender characteristics. He has a great acceptance to transmit ideas loaded with an important social content.

Although many people think that Herrera’s paintings are aimed at infants, they are not, they are undoubtedly aimed at adults.

Through his work, the author seeks to convey messages that sensitize people to the controversies that are affecting humanity today. For example: wars, the lack of food in some lands, environmental pollution and damage to nature and social conflicts.

The connection between his work and the public is an element that the author constantly seeks to reach.

Different paintings

Painting of Maykel Herrera

Among the most relevant productions of this Camagüeyan painter are:

  • “Dwarf Princes”
  •  “Feast of Princes”
  •  “Out of Play”

These series have visited important galleries and exhibition halls not only in our country but also in other parts of the world.

It would be impossible to mention the work of Maykel Herrera and catalogue it as an individual and lucrative creation due to it have contributed through donations to:

  • The development of specialised children’s health centres.
  • children’s homes.
  • Paediatric hospitals

The magic goes from the mind to the brush right in his studio, conspiratorial center of new ideas that is located in Old Havana, but his work has not remained only in framed pictures.

This is a compilation of the works and tours of Maykel Herrera, the Cuban painter who best portrays children.

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Mueller’s report concludes that no one from Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia

The investigation of Robert Muller

The investigation of Robert Muller

The investigation of prosecutor Robert Mueller has found no evidence incriminating Donald Trump.

“The prosecutor’s investigation did not find that Trump’s campaign or anyone associated with Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” William Barr wrote.

According to Barr, Mueller indicated: “while this report concludes that the president did not commit a crime, it does not exonerate him“.

The document released leaves “unresolved whether the actions and intent of the president could be seen as an obstruction” to justice, Barr said.

However, Barr concluded that the evidence Mueller “is not sufficient to establish that the president committed a crime of obstruction of justice.

White House’s reaction

After the report’s main findings, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders called it Trump’s “total and complete exoneration”.

The release of Mueller’s findings puts an end to a few days of speculation after the special prosecutor delivered the report to the Justice Department.

“The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States,” Sanders said.

Also, neither Trump nor anyone in the White House had received Mueller’s report beforehand, and they had not been informed of its contents.

Members of Congress, mostly Democrats but also some Republicans, have asked for the full dissemination of the report, which has raised much expectation in the United States.

Mueller already announced that after the closing of the investigation he did not plan to file any more charges in relation to this issue.

Attorney General Barr, appointed by Trump last December had at no time undertaken to disclose the report once it had reached his hands.

As a result of this investigation, they accused 34 people, including six former Trump advisers and 26 Russians.

In the report, Muller does not include new charges or charges under secret summary proceedings.

For this reason, rules out the possibility that Trump may be subject to an indictment that becomes public once he leaves the Presidency.

Finally, Trump has insisted that this investigation constituted a “witch-hunt” activated by the Democratic opposition.

Also, he has consistently denied that in the election campaign for the 2016 elections there was a plot between his team and the Russian government to help him win.

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Lopez Obrador is booed at Red Davils Stadium


Red Devils stadium

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was booed at the inauguration of the Red Devils stadium in the Mexican Baseball League.

First of all, the president said: “I’m very happy to inaugurate this extraordinary baseball stadium”.

In addition, the professional team with the most titles in Mexico in any sport, with 16, López Obrador used a language from his favorite sport, baseball, to reiterate his fight against the opposition, the “mafia of power.

“I’m going to control with a 95-mile straight and curves, we’re going to keep punching the mafia of power,” he said.

The businessman Alfredo Arpa Helu accompanied the president.

Lopez Obrador inaugurated the Hall of Fame in Monterrey, northern Mexico. Also, he announced the approval of a budget to support the development of baseball.

The president assumed power last December 1 after sweeping the presidential elections. Actually, he maintains a great popularity, but people received him with negative shouts.

As he often reiterates, the Mexican president was a good central gardener in his youth. “I presume it as a trophy,” he said at a public event where he showed people his crooked finger.

Finally, the new stadium, with a capacity for more than 20,000 people, will debut next April 5.

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Carlos and Camila from England arrive in Cuba

Prince Charles of England and his wife Camila, Duchess of Cornwall, arrived in Cuba on Sunday 24th March for a three-day visit.

Carlos and Camila landed on a private flight at Havana’s José Martí international airport. The Caribbean country’s deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs went to receive them.

The visit of the royal couple to Havana seeks to consolidate and strengthen bilateral relations within the process of rapprochement begun in 2016.

That trip took place in the context of the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States under then President Barack Obama.

After that, Donald Trump abruptly paralyzed the process.

Upon his arrival, the Prince of Wales is expected to move directly to the famous Plaza de la Revolución in the Cuban capital. When he arrive, he will place a floral offering in front of the monument to the independence hero José Martí.

According to British diplomatic sources, this high-level visit is a reflection of the good state of the relationship between the United Kingdom and Cuba.

In addition, that seeks to further stimulate the development of ties.

In conclusion, the main purpose, within a philosophy of “constructive diplomacy,” is to promote a closer dialogue with the Cuban Government, according to the same sources.

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Cuba rejects U.S. accusations of military support for Venezuela

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On Friday 22nd March, Cuba rejected the “repeated and false” accusations made by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and other U.S. officials regarding the presence of Cuban military personnel in Venezuela.

“I categorically reject repeated and false accusations by Vice President Pence and other U.S. officials about Cuban military men who ‘train’, ‘control’ or ‘intimidate’ in Venezuela,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez wrote in his Twitter account.

The U.S. Vice President said that “Cuban intelligence and military continue to train, support and equip Venezuela’s secret police to “harass protesters and silence the opposition”.

In response to Pence’s accusations, the head of Cuban diplomacy replied that they are “gross lies” and attributed them to “the ferocious macartista propaganda campaign deployed by the United States” against Venezuela.

Cuba has repeatedly ratified its unconditional support for the government of President Nicolas Maduro and has accused the United States of unleashing an “unconventional” war against it.

“Cuba and Venezuela maintain a relationship of mutual respect and true solidarity. Without intervention in internal affairs and without political subordination. #NicolasMaduro and the civic-military union of the Bolivarian and Chavista people,” emphasized the head of Cuban diplomacy.

Last month, the Cuban executive, presided over by Miguel Diaz-Canel, described as “infamous” another accusation by Washington that Cuba maintains a private army in Venezuela and urged the U.S. to present evidence in this regard.

Since the current political crisis in Venezuela began on January 23 with the proclamation of the leader of the Venezuelan Parliament, Juan Guaidó, as president in charge, Cuba has repeatedly ratified its unconditional support for the government of President Nicolás Maduro and has accused the United States of unleashing an “unconventional” war against it.

The Havana executive has also considered that the real objective behind the crisis in Venezuela and the U.S. recognition of Juan Guaidó as interim president of that country is the control of the “vast resources” of the oil power.

Cuba and Venezuela have been close allies since 2000, when then Presidents Hugo Chávez and Fidel Castro – both deceased – signed the so-called Integral Cooperation Agreement by which the South American country began to provide the island with oil at subsidized prices in exchange for professional services.

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A doctor dies in Cuba due to lack of medical attention

Hospital in Cuba

First symptoms of Magdelenis

Dr. Magdelenis Cordoví Santiesteban died from a lack of medical attention  at the Orlando Pantoja hospital in the Contramaestre municipality, according to her family.

Ulises Mora, the doctor’s husband, revealed that it all began when he took Magdelenis to the hospital with nephritic colic, vomiting and diarrhea. However, he had to return to his home when he was denied admission.

“It could perfectly well have been another disease. In the abdomen there are many important organs. It is necessary to rule out ectopic pregnancy, appendicitis, biliary colics, etc,” said Cubanet a doctor and friend of Magdelenis.

The next day, Magdelenis returned to the hospital because her ailments had worsened. The doctor considered her condition to be serious. After that, he notified the management of the centre. Unfortunately, neither of the two authorities was concerned about the case of Cordoví Santiesteban.

and she dies…

Through Cordoví’s Twitter account, the family went to Governor Miguel Díaz-Canel, Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda and the official account of the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) to inform them about the situation. They explained that the galena had died dehydrated at the Contramaestre hospital due to lack of medical attention.

In addition, Álvarez said he was surprised by the news and added that there is no justification for such a regrettable fact. “I worked in Cuba as a doctor and the conditions are subhuman. But none of that justifies a country that claims” he said.

Also, other sources claim that the doctor was the victim of a heart attack, which could have been caused, among other things, by the lack of water in the body.

“I recommend that the investigation be kept open to discover the real truth. Also,  those who have to pay should pay” the Cuban physician said energetically.

As a person and professional, Alvarez described her colleague as “a wonderful teacher and excellent co-worker and friend.

Hospital of excellence?

Previously, several patients have issued complaints against this hospital. Unique to this eastern Cuban town, several residents have denounced the lack of basic utensils and medical personnel.

Finally, in 2017, the doctor Nelson Alfredo Pelegrín, with 28 years of experience, was sanctioned for his decision not to continue performing the medical guards, a task he believed to be voluntary.

Other testimonies

In June 2018, Idael Aguilar arrived at the same medical center with a fractured arm. He found the Guard Corps completely desolate, without patients or staff. When he began to film the situation, as he had been waiting for several minutes, a receptionist arrived. He told him that he could not record and immediately a doctor appeared, who indicated a cast without first performing an X-ray test.

Aguilar revived this procedure with his three-year-old pequeño, also in a cast without having applied an X-ray. Probably, it was because of the lack of raw material used to make the medical plates.

Finally, the Cuban Health Portal assures that the Orlando Pantoja Tamayo Hospital constitutes a center of excellence in the provision of medical services. The hospital provides “specialized medical care services, with sufficient human, physical and technological infrastructure, committed to the welfare of our society.

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Cessation of oil shipments from Venezuela would force Cuba to spend 2 billion dollars

The regional political context, the crisis in Venezuela and, with it, the decrease in the supply of fuel could become a serious problem for Cuba in the coming months. That was confirmed to El Nuevo Herald by Jorge Piñón, director of the energy program for Latin America at the University of Texas at Austin.

Piñón assured the Miami newspaper that if Maduro falls, or failing that, if Juan Guaidó manages to stop oil shipments to the Caribbean island, the Havana regime could see a critical situation that would force it to pay nearly 2 billion dollars a year to satisfy domestic demand for fuel.

“Cuba’s demand for oil is approximately 130,000 barrels a day and Cuba produces around 50,000 barrels a day, which means a deficit of around 80,000 barrels a day,” said the director.

Although for the time being there are no reports of massive cuts in electricity or announced blackouts, losing Venezuelan oil would represent a hard blow to the island’s economy, already affected by the recession and the toughening of sanctions of the Donald Trump administration.

Piñon explained to the Herald that the island has reserves of fuel for about 45 days and that, if shipments stop, the government would be forced to spend about $5.2 million to buy at international market prices – $65 a barrel – the 80,000 barrels of oil it needs to meet daily domestic demand.

For this reason, not a few analysts affirm that Havana is looking for alternatives to replace the decline in Venezuelan crude oil, which could come from Russia and Algeria, strategic allies of the island. All this in a framework where the Cuban regime has already lost the profits from the medical mission in Brazil, an important part of the 11 billion dollars that the country received annually for the export of professional services.

Just two weeks ago, the opposition-controlled National Assembly of Venezuela ordered the suspension of shipments of crude oil to Cuba, established in an agreement to exchange oil for medical services between the late governors Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, as a result of which the state-owned PDVSA sent between 40,000 and 50,000 barrels of oil a day to Cuba.

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The IACHR includes Nicaragua on its black list and maintains Cuba and Venezuela

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The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) announced Thursday that Nicaragua is on its “black list” due to the “de facto” installation of a state of emergency with the abuse of force, the imprisonment of dissident voices and the closure of the media.

This is the first time in 25 years that Nicaragua appears in Chapter IV of the IACHR’s annual report, which this time refers to 2018 and each year names the states of the American continent where respect for human rights deserves the “special attention” of the Washington-based organization.

In statements to Efe, Antonia Urrejola, Nicaragua’s IACHR rapporteur, explained that the establishment of this state of exceptionality “de facto” has been considered by the organization as a “determining element” to incorporate the Central American country to the “black list”.

“The grave human rights crisis (…) has lasted more than eight months due to the de facto installation of a state of emergency characterized by the abusive exercise of public force.

“The serious human rights crisis that the country is going through has extended for more than eight months due to the de facto installation of a state of exception characterized by the abusive exercise of public force to repress dissident voices against the government,” Urrejola said.

The Nicaraguan executive was also pointed out by the IACHR due to the “massive, systematic and serious repressive state response against the population” from the protests that began last April against the president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, and that have left 325 dead, according to the agency itself.

According to the document, the Nicaraguan government has rejected the report because it considers it to be unscrupulous and politicized and, furthermore, assured that it reflects “destabilizing political interests against the State of Nicaragua,” whose president considers the protests an attempt at a “coup d’état” orchestrated by Washington.

Nicaragua was last placed on the “black list” in the 1993 report, after having been included in that list every year since 1982.

With respect to Venezuela, which has been on the list every year since 2005, the IACHR asserts that the “structural” conditions affecting the rights of Venezuelans have “worsened” and have led to “a serious political, social, and economic crisis, to the point where there is currently an absence of the rule of law.

The Commission referred to the elections held last May, won by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and whose results were not recognized by the opposition, which led the president of Parliament, Juan Guaidó, to proclaim himself head of state on January 23.

The IACHR did not mention Guaidó because the report refers to 2018, but affirms that “the way” in which the May elections were held “deepened the institutional crisis”.

The IACHR did not mention Guaidó because the report refers to 2018, but affirms that “the way” in which the May elections were held “deepened the institutional crisis.

The agency urged the Venezuelan state to “re-establish constitutional order,” to release those detained for exercising their right to protest and to avoid “illegal or arbitrary detentions,” as well as to take the necessary measures to guarantee access to food and medicine.

On Cuba, in the list every year since 1984, the IACHR warns of “arbitrary restrictions” on the right to vote and freedom of expression, as well as “violations” of due process.

Specifically, the IACHR believes that the process of debating the new Cuban Constitution suffered “serious flaws” and questioned the process that led to the appointment of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, who replaced Raul Castro in April 2018.

The Cuban Executive was the only one that did not respond since it does not recognize the competence of the IACHR because it depends on the OAS.

In this regard, the agency said that “during the development of the electoral process” that led to the election of Diaz-Canel “was observed the persistence of conditions that prevent the genuine political participation of various sectors of society.

The governments of Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Cuba know that they have been included in Chapter IV since late January, when the IACHR sent them the draft report for comments.

The Cuban Executive was the only one who did not respond since it does not recognize the competence of the IACHR because it depends on the OAS, which Cuba refuses to reinstate because it considers that the organization is an instrument of U.S. imperialism to influence Latin America.

Cuba was suspended from the OAS in 1962 after the triumph of the revolution led by Fidel Castro and, although the organization lifted that suspension in 2009, the island refused to return.

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Abortion in Cuba: Boomerang effect

Abortion in Cuba

Abortion in Cuba, a growing trend

Many women defend abortion because they consider it is a right.  At this time, a disturbing question arises: who defends the right to life?

Cuba decriminalized the abortion in 1936, then it could only be done under the conditions imposed by law. Castroism liberalized abortion since 1965. The practice of which reached extraordinary proportions in the next years of the last century. This continues in spite of the fact that some official media report that there is a tendency to decrease.

When they removed the legal restrictions, the Cuban regime made it as natural as going to the movies. This revolution has consequences: irresponsible sexual behavior or complete ignorance about sex education. The country’s poor economic situation, the impossibility for young couples to have adequate housing, etc. also contribute to this.

Many people who occupy important responsibilities in state institutions defend the right to abort.

Liliet Heredero published an article: When abortion is an alternative to the contraceptive method, in Cuba there is a social and moral tolerance to abortion and its practice is frequent.

According to data recorded by the Johnston Archive in 2015, the abortion rate is among the highest in the world.

Everything seems to indicate that many young Cuban women have no real knowledge of its physical and psychological consequences.

In 2009, more than half of the infertility cases of women treated in health centers were caused by the sequelae of abortions.

Alarming figures

Although some articles related to the subject, cite as source the figures offered by the Statistical Yearbook of the Ministry of Public Health, the Yearbook corresponding to 2018 does not offer any information in this regard.

According to a Cibercuba publication, in 2016: 85,445 abortions were performed on women between the ages of 12 and 49. Also, resulting in 49.1 terminations per 100 pregnancies, half of those performed in 2005, according to the publication.

In addition, another news item, this time from the EFE agency, published on January 24th of this year with the title Abortions outnumber births on the Isle of Youth. Last year, there were registered 1,200 abortions compared to 900 births.

Anti-abortionist positions gain ground

Anti-abortionist positions are gaining ground in Cuba. There are public demonstrations by some MINSAP leaders. They have warned of its consequences at a time when population ageing is increasing and population growth has gone from low to negative.

Abortion has become a boomerang for castrism, since it harms one of the essential constituent elements of every State, its population.

Finally, the Government’s very liberal position had a turning point after John Paul II’s visit to Cuba in 1999. From then on, Cuban authorities began to express that abortion is not a contraceptive method.

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Cuba says U.S. manipulates Diplomatic Health Incidents

Cuba denounced Donald Trump’s Government on Thursday for continuing to refer to health incidents among its diplomats in Havana as “attacks” without presenting any evidence, and said it was part of a broader campaign to damage bilateral relations, according to a Reuters news agency cable.

Both Canada and the United States reduced their embassy staff in Havana after diplomats began complaining of mysterious episodes of dizziness, headaches and nausea two years ago.

“The issue has been highly manipulated politically by the U.S. Government, with unfounded accusations, which has been a pretext for taking action against bilateral relations,” Carlos Fernández de Cossio, director of U.S. affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press conference in Havana.

U.S.-Cuba relations have plummeted since Trump became president once again, reinforcing the trade and travel embargo he has been in Cuba for decades.

“This manipulation is also serving those who want to reinforce the idea that Cuba is a threat and those who opportunistically seek to label Cuba as a country that sponsors terrorism,” Fernandez de Cossio said, according to Reuters.

While Cuba had no doubt that some diplomats had fallen ill, so far there was nothing to suggest that this was not due to a pre-existing condition, natural causes or even psychological suggestions, he said.

In contrast, cooperation with Canada had been much better, the Cuban official said. “Canada made no accusations against Cuba regarding the attacks, Canadian politicians have not come out threatening us or making irresponsible statements.”

However, in January the Cuban Government criticized Canada’s decision to reduce the number of diplomatic personnel in Cuba by half after someone else became ill, bringing the total number of Canadians with unexplained symptoms to 14.

At the time, he said the measure would not help solve the mystery and would damage bilateral relations. “We hope that there will be no greater damage to our relations (with Canada), nor do we see any reason why there should be,” Fernandez de Cossio said.

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